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Update from Clarence CSD September 24, 2021

Dear Clarence School Family,

Each day you trust us with your most precious gifts—your children. We do not take that trust for granted, and we recognize that it is hard to earn and easy to lose. As we move further into the year, I want to make sure that to build trust, my communications with you are both open as well as honest. While that will often mean celebrating the good things that are happening in Clarence, it will also involve acknowledging where growth is possible. Below you will find a mix of updates. My hope is that you will consider the following as building blocks for the trust that is required in any meaningful relationship.

Board of Education Meeting

As you likely saw in the news, the District made the decision to adjourn its Board of Education meeting this past Monday after a number of visitors refused to follow a set of clearly articulated expectations. At a very basic level, what took place was unsettling to witness. Our faculty and staff work hard to create safe spaces where students can engage respectfully, and adults failed to live up to that same standard earlier in the week.

Please know that as a result of Monday, we are focused on identifying specific protocols to help ensure safe and orderly meetings in the future. At the same time, we are also talking about additional ways to encourage the open and honest engagement of parents as well as community residents. Clarence is a place with a unique level of expertise, and we will be scheduling in-person as well as virtual ThoughtExchange conversations for stakeholders to provide feedback in the weeks and months ahead.

Weekly COVID Report

Each Friday, we will send out a COVID report with weekly data involving positive case counts as well as the number of individuals placed in quarantine by the Erie County Department of Health. Below you will see the report from this past week.

  • 3 individuals at Harris Hill Elementary School tested positive, 23 quarantined
  • 1 individual at Sheridan Hill Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined

Identifying Close Contacts on Buses

Now that we have gone through the contract tracing process a handful of times, it has become clear that positive cases on buses can lead to a large number of students being placed in quarantine by public health officials. The reason is that to err on the side of caution, the Erie County Department of Health is quarantining all students sharing the seat, sitting in front, sitting behind, and sometimes sitting across the aisle from the student who tested positive. While we are committed to transporting all interested Clarence students, I thought I would share the contact tracing information in case it might influence whether you want to drive your child or children to school.

COVID Safety Reminders

We have had a great start to the school year because of all the daily steps you are taking to help keep our community safe. However, you have likely seen that certain districts have had to contemplate switching from in-person to remote learning because of spikes in positive cases and quarantines. Because our goal is to offer a fully in-person learning experience each day this year, we are asking that you remind your child about the importance of masking, and that you remember to complete your child’s daily Frontline health screening before sending them to school.

Clarence Homecoming

As you know, next week is Homecoming in Clarence! It’s the perfect opportunity to show our Red Devil pride, and I would invite you to come cheer on our student-athletes whenever you have a free afternoon or evening. (Click here to access our digital athletic calendar.)

Additionally, if you have a son or daughter in Elementary School, please consider registering them (click here) to participate in the “32nd Annual Clarence Central Elementary Schools One Mile Fun Run and Wellness Walk.” I’ve been out training for the event on the bike trails before work, and I’m looking forward to joining our students on October 2. (Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m., warm-ups at 8:45 a.m., K-2 run at 9:00 a.m., and 3-5 run at 9:30 a.m.)

As always, I hope this finds you safe, healthy, and well. I’ll be out watching athletic events tonight and tomorrow. If our paths cross, I hope you will consider introducing yourself. I’m still trying to meet as many people as possible, and I’d love to hear how the year is going for your son or daughter.

Matt Frahm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools